Jantie Feite Sottema,

Jantie Feite Sottema,

Friesland, Netherlands, 1848

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sampler size: 19¾” x 12½” • frame size: 22” x 14½” • sold

The samplers of Friesland, a province in northwest Holland, are notable for the highly decorative needlework used to execute a wonderful assortment of intricate lettering, patterns and motifs that appear on samplers made there over a long period of time. These merklappen or lettermerklap include many alphabets, ranging from very small to quite large, worked with letters that commensurately vary from simple fonts to highly decorative ones. Motifs include many stylized designs, often focusing on flower pots, trees, hearts and birds.

Friesian samplermakers rarely signed their names on their samplers, generally using just their initials. This sampler, classically Friesian in its format, alphabets, motifs and coloration, unusually presents a full inscription:


which translates to Jantie Feite Sottema is born on November 25, 1832. Jantie used both family surnames, Feite and Sottema, and in the lower right corner stitched her intials IF (the letters I and J were used interchangeably) and the year the sampler was made, 1848.  

Worked in silk on linen, the sampler is in excellent condition. It is currently conservation into a molded and black painted frame.


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